Thursday, November 16, 2006

Something for the kids...Zombie Hotel

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From DVD Times:
Once upon a time, anything with the word zombie in the title, with the notable exception of the lyrical White Zombie and I Walked With A Zombie, promised an evening of unsurpassed gut-crunching. Until, that is, Zombie Hotel, which finds our undead friends and their ilk hopelessly running a hotel. Less concerned with the taste for human flesh than whether the night's menu has been decided upon, if the skulls have been dusted and whether the little chocolates (with a hint of bat!) have been placed upon guests' pillows. And not a drop of blood in sight.

The obvious debt that Zombie Hotel owes is to The Addams Family, in which the unconventional-looking family were an oasis of love and affection in a morally grotesque world. Zombie Hotel offers us the lovestruck proprietors of the titular establishment, Rictus and Funerella, who appear to have been constructed, Frankenstein-like, from the body parts of long-dead corpses. However, it is their two zombie children, Maggot and Fungus, who are the stars of the cartoon, in which they leave the family business to be educated at the local school, finding that their oddball parents and friends are sweetness and light compared to the backstabbing, bullying and conniving humans outside. With the exception of their friend Sam of course, one good kid amongst so many awful people.

On First Day, for example, the first episode here, Funeralla and Rictus fret as they send their children off to school for the first day, inappropriately dressed in the clothes they wore on their own first day at school...back in 1902! When Sam discovers their zombie secret - it's hard to avoid when, after losing his temper, Fungus sprouts fangs and claws and, later, pulls off his head and swaps it with Maggot's - he becomes their closest friend in the world but the school bully promises them a tough time ahead. Unless, that is, they can spend one night in the haunted mansion, which shouldn't be a problem for a pair of zombies, should it?


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